I am participating in the Writing Contest: Writers Crushing Doubt. Hosted by Positive Writer for the month of April. - If you haven't stopped by their site to check this out, you are welcome to get in on this by clicking HERE and participating for FREE!
My doubt lately has been about my next book project, a 180 degree turn from romance. My debut novel was contracted through my NYC publisher, and that contract is now at an end. I'm chosing this year to go full indie, and it scares me to death.
Sales have dropped, as most new authors can expect, and with this crime/drama novel begging to be written, I fear that what momentum I had will vanish entirely if I deviate from romance. What am I thinking? Who am I kidding?
Time Is Fleeting
The more I make an effort to be hyper aware of the passage of each day, the more I realize how fast life is going by. Before I can forget breakfast, lunch is upon me. Before I'm done savoring the morning, a sunset is winking at me from just above the evening horizon. There's no time to lose, and yet...
Who Else Will Walk Out?
I lost a dear friend when my debut novel was published. She was my sounding board, a true inspiration I could rely on when my writing needed a boost. The past 2 years without her has filled me with doubt. I honestly worry that I will lose more friends with each subsequent book. It is that alone that scares me away from my writing. I am shy by nature and can't handle losing my support system to my passion. Perhaps I should consider taking up something less intimidating, such as stamp collecting!
But Damn The Mirror
Yet, when I pull myself away from life and journal about these private worries of losing friends, I flip through pages of the past two years where my writing has filled me with a newfound confidence and sense of purpose. I see pages filled with a Carrie who is growing and finding confidence...finding herself. I honestly can't regress. I can't look in the mirror and see the old Carrie come back. She would be surrounded by friends she would then realize were not who they seemed. And she wouldn't be following the path she was meant to walk. That person wouldn't be who she seemed, either.
Giving Myself Permission
I see that I work too hard trying to get permission from everyone else around me before I do things in life. I leave out the permission of the one person who means the most in this life: MINE. In an inspirational email from David Villalva who operates www.davidvillalva.com, he wrote about just this idea and it resonated with me. I looked around the desk at projects I'd abandoned out of fear, realizing I was refusing to give myself permission to forge ahead on these stories. I was disappointed in myself and knew I had to forgive and try again, in spite of everything.
The Old Thrill Returns
And so, hands trembling, I took this new approach and wrote out the synopsis and outline of my crime/drama the way I wanted to see it. Even with knowing all about branding now and marketing and genres, etc, I wrote it how I wanted it to be, not how others might expect my next book to be. I refuse to blame myself for my old friend leaving the 20+ year friendship any more. Our time together had come to an end and I accept that life will go on, no-one will be to blame, and everything is going to work out for the best. Using the doubt that appeared when she left as an excuse to not write what I truly want to write was a crutch - I refuse to use any longer. And when I sat back and looked at the words that had flowed, I felt that old thrill return. The thrill of weaving a story, not for the sake of a cash payout or for consistent branding, but for the sake of manifesting the creation inside me.
I'm Turning Into Someone
I work daily now on giving myself permission because I'm turning into someone. I'm evolving into someone more and I have to not be afraid of that new person. It's been nice to live in old habits, but there is a new me growing and I want to see what she's like. I need to read the writing she has inside of her. And so, I keep up with the message boards full of authors churning out books like mad. I watch my Facebook stream for new releases and embrace that creative vibe all around me. And I give myself permission to write and create worlds of characters crushing their own doubt. And hopefully, I will inspire someone out there to do the same.
Do you agree? What kind of doubt have you had lately? How can I help you crush it?
By the way, see more at: http://positivewriter.com/writing-contest-2016/#sthash.bRTMxMMa.dpuf